CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The attorney for a University of Virginia student says his client will plead not guilty this week to charges stemming from a highly publicized arrest that led to allegations of excessive police force and racism.
Twenty-year-old Martese Johnson, who is black, needed 10 stiches to close a gash on his head after last Wednesday's scuffle with Alcoholic Beverage Control officers in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photos and video of the arrest circulated widely on social media, showing Johnson with his face bloody as he was pinned to the ground by an officer. State officials promised to investigate.
Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice without force and public intoxication or swearing after his arrest.
His attorney, Daniel Watkins, issued a statement Monday saying the Chicago resident will enter his not-guilty plea at a scheduled court appearance Thursday.